JDT suffer late blow against Thai Air Force

Malaysia Super League giants Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) suffered a 1-0 defeat to Air Force Central in their second pre-season friendly in Thailand on Wednesday. 

JDT, who are in Thailand as preparation for their AFC Champions League preliminary round two tie against Bangkok United on January 31, fell to a Kazumichi Takagi 82nd-minute strike.

The Southern Tigers, however, were not disheartened by the defeat to the Thai Premier League side, saying it was an opportunity give the fringe players a run.

I am not that worried about the result. We were always aware that the standard of football in Thailand is better

- Mario Gomez

"I am happy with the performance of our young players today. I am not that worried about the result. We were always aware that the standard of football in Thailand is better," said Gomez.

"I got the opportunity to know my players better and see the options that I have. Another purpose was to study the depth of the squad."

JDT, who held Chonburi 1-1 a day earlier, made wholesale changes to their line-up with the likes of Haziq Nadzli, Dominic Tan and Azrif Nasrulhaq being given starts, but Gomez also surprised many by fielding players that are not in their 2017 plans.

Singapore skipper Hariss Harun and Nazmi Faiz Mansor, both of whom the club months ago said would be loaned out to gain exposure, started at Dhupatemiya Stadium.

Former PKNS forward Gabriel Guerra, who was signed for JDT II in the Malaysia Premier League, also started.

JDT play Buriram United at New I-Mobile Stadium on Saturday before returning for the MSL opener against Kedah on January 20.

Photo: JDT